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No plan to shift Sarabjit Singh abroad: Pak  

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani officials on Monday dismissed a report that a medical board was considering a proposal to send abroad Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh admitted in a Lahore hospital after a brutal assault — for treatment.

The four-member medical board headed by Jinnah Hospital chief executive Mahmood Shaukat conducted a routine examination of Sarabjit on Monday morning, officials said.

They rejected a media report that the board was mulling a proposal to send Sarabjit abroad for treatment.

“No such proposal has been under consideration,” an official of the Health Department of Punjab province told PTI.

“In fact, the medical board has no mandate (to decide about sending Sarabjit abroad),” said the official, who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The medical board is “minutely monitoring the patient” and Sarabjit is being given the “best treatment” at Jinnah Hospital, the official said.

Sources in the hospital said there had been “no improvement whatsoever” in Sarabjit’s condition.

Sarabjit sustained several injuries, including a skull fracture, when six prisoners attacked him in Kot Lakhpat Jail on Friday. — PTIBack







Oppn agrees to allow financial business in Parliament tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The government on Monday achieved a breakthrough in the logjam in Parliament with the Opposition agreeing to allow financial business to be taken up on Tuesday.

The stalemate ended after a meeting of floor leaders of various parties convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

"All financial business will be taken up in Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday)," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after the meeting.

He dismissed suggestions that Parliament would be adjourned sine die after passage of financial business. 

"There is no talk of adjourning Parliament sine die (before May 10)," he said.

Along with the Finance Bill, some other financial business pending include the Railway Budget and demand for grants of ministries.

"It is unfortunate that in the last five days Parliament did not run. I am optimistic and hopeful that the House will function," Nath had said before the Speaker's meeting.

Both Houses of Parliament have faced repeated adjournments over the issue of coal scam and JPC draft report.

BJP is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on the issue of CBI's report to the Supreme Court on coal block scam.

Fifteen JPC members of opposition parties have expressed "no confidence" in Chairman P.C. Chacko and have sought his removal by the Speaker on the 2G draft report, giving a clean chit to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. — PTIBack








Mulayam says China is our biggest enemy,
criticises UPA govt for 'doing nothing'

NEW DELHI: Members in the Lok Sabha on Monday voiced concern over intrusion by Chinese troops in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, with crucial UPA ally Samajwadi Party objecting to the upcoming visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Beijing.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav took the lead in targeting the government for "doing nothing" and alleged that it was acting in a "cowardly" manner in dealing with the intrusion.

Describing China as the "biggest enemy", the former Defence Minister said during Zero Hour, "We have been warning that China has started occupying our territory. But the government is not listening to all this."

He said the Indian Army has said it is ready to remove all intruders but there is no action.

"This government is cowardly, incompetent and good for nothing," he said, while objecting to the upcoming visit of Khurshid to China.

Khurshid is scheduled to travel to Beijing on May 9 in connection with preparations for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit here next month.

Amid continuous slogan-shouting by BJP members in the Well over coal issue, Yadav said he had raised the issue several times with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A.K. Antony, but to no avail. "I went to his (PM's) chamber to talk to him. But no action was taken."

Claiming that one lakh square km of Indian territory has been "occupied" by China, he accused the government of "doing nothing".

"When the Army chief himself says the troops are ready to respond, why is the government not issuing instructions to it? They (China) insulted us in 1962. They are insulting us now in the world fora," Yadav said.

He was supported by B. Mahtab (BJD) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), who demanded a statement from the Prime Minister on the incursion on April 16 by Chinese troops who have pitched tents 19 km inside Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldie area. — PTIBack









Bad governance slackened Karnataka's growth: PM

HUBLI: Taking on the BJP government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today charged that 'bad governance' and 'corruption' had slackened state's progress and a sense of insecurity was prevalent among the minorities.

Hitting the campaign trail for the May 5 Assembly polls in Karnataka, Singh said BJP had changed three chief ministers in the last five years and a probe had been ordered against several of its politicians on charge of corruption.

"...bad governance, carelessness in development works and above all corruption has led to the slackening of progress in Karnataka", the Prime Minister said in this northern part of the state, where the ruling BJP draws much of its strength. 
Singh said attention was neither being paid to agriculture nor employment. A number of irrigation works are incomplete and even the works taken up under accelerated irrigation development programme were unsatisfactory.

Also, no attention has been paid to infrastructure, resulting in a number of industries going to Hyderabad and Pune.

"... I am particularly unhappy about the lack of development, especially in minority pockets like Raichur, Bellary, Gulbarga and Bidar... Lack of communal harmony and sense of insecurity among the minorities is prevalent," Singh said.

Accusing the ruling BJP of not utilising the funds sanctioned under many of the central schemes, Singh said the state had not met its targets in several programmes including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and mid-day meals or rural road development.

"...If the Congress comes to power in Karnataka, the state will be able to utilise the funds sanctioned under central schemes to the maximum..", he said, assuring the people that his party would make Karnataka "a forerunner in development by providing a corruption-free government."

Only Congress can work speedily for the development and prosperity of the state, which in many ways had a "unique place" compared to others, he said.

Singh said across the world when people talk about Information Technology, people talk of Bangalore. In the past two decades, Karnataka has made a place for itself in the international arena mainly because of the contribution made by its scientists and engineers.

The UPA government had initiated economic reforms and Karnataka was able to take advantage of them to the maximum which in turn helped its development, specially in IT.

Talking about UPA government, he said its focus has been on inclusive growth. "...we have taken all sections of people together."

The government had paid particular attention to backward classes, minorities and women in its policies.

He said when different party governments, other than Congress', had been formed in Karnataka, development had slackened. — PTIBack








1984 riots: HC to further hear Sajjan's plea on May 15

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday said "further hearing is required" in the plea of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who had challenged the trial court order framing charges against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case related to the killings of six persons.

Justice Suresh Kait, who was scheduled to pronounce the on Monday, said, "While dictating the judgement, I felt this matter should be heard further".

Justice Kait fixed May 15 as the date for further hearing in the matter. The judgement was reserved in the case by the high court in December 2012.

The trial court is scheduled to pronounce the verdict on Tuesday in a similar case against Kumar and five others in which the former Outer Delhi MP is accused of instigating the mob to kill Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment area in New Delhi during the 1984 riots.

In the Sultanpuri case, besides Kumar, co-accused Ved Prakash Pial alias Vedu Pradhan and Brahmanand Gupta had also moved the high court against framing of charges against them.

Complainant Sheela Kaur had filed a cross-appeal in the high court seeking to invoke the charges of criminal conspiracy against Kumar and other four accused in the case.

In July 2010, a trial court had framed charges against Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with the case in which six persons were killed in Sultanpuri in anti-Sikhs riots that erupted in Delhi and elsewhere after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Besides charges of murder and rioting, the court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused.

The CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others in January 2010 in the cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice GT Nanavati Commission which probed the sequence of events leading to the riots. — PTIBack




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